A life-changing encounter!


Sometimes our paths cross with inspirational people who find it great to share experiences and help brainstorm with us. On October 1st we had another such encounter. This time with two expeditionists who travelled across Spitsbergen in 1972. Hein Doeksen and Fred van Olphen.

In those days (48 years ago), people thought these explorers were crazy to make this expedition to a remote part of the world and in rough conditions. Without radio contact and left to their own survival expertise. They had done many expeditions thereafter (separately on land or sea), but they both were in agreement that the Spitsbergen adventure was ‘ the most life changing experience of their lives’. It inspired Fred to become an entrepreneur and that he did with great passion and success. He in fact founded Beversport which he sold back in 2007. Likewise Hein had made numerous sailing expeditions and has recently written a fiction book touching on his adventures.


The world is small and in fact it is this book that brought us together. Astrid as a graphic designer was contracted to work on his book. Soon they discovered their common passion of ‘adventure’. Next thing, Astrid and Bela were invited by Hein and Fred who openly shared their experiences and provided some great tips. What food to take (Trek n’ Eat), what to sleep on, finding sponsors and planning for as many practice runs. We were overwhelmed with their input, kindness and the great food from Hein. We too are getting ready for what we also hope to be a life changing experience.

See the Spitsbergen documentary here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN4Yo6WblPk


By Bela Evers